How would I begin searching for records to determine if one of my great grandfathers was hiding his true origin? [closed]

+6 votes
One of my great-grandfathers was Charles Victor Gordon, or so he went as an adult. He sired Madeline Louise Gordon, my paternal grandmother. Lovely people. Unfortunately neither of them survive.

I don't have a profile for him up yet because my GEDCOM is still being processed. However, I can tell you the following:

The only records I currently have of his existence aside from what the family remembers are his presence on the 1930 and 1940 US Census. In the 1930 US Census, he was Charles V Guarino, the name then also of his wife and children, among them my grandmother. By 1940 he had changed the family's name to Gordon. Funnily enough, my grand-aunt Dorothy married a fellow who had changed his surname from Montazella to O'Brien.

On the 1940 Census he says he was born in Buffalo. On the 1930 Census he says he and his parents were born in New York. He was an engineer for the railroads. He died in 1964, with such timing as to ruin my father's childhood chances of seeing the 1964 World's Fair, a great blow to a future scientist.

Aside from this, a cousin of mine from Dorothy's line has a manila index card with no ruling, issued by no organization, written in typewriter that he was born October 30th, 1899, to Rosa Concheta, with an address and for some reason "Mt. Carmel Church" written there, though I've looked into this extensively and only two Our Lady of Mt. Carmel's existed in the Diocese of Buffalo ever, and they opened in 1905 and 1906 respectively. The 1905 Mt. Carmel searched their records and found nothing. The 1906 Mt. Carmel's records are held by the Buffalo Chancery which will do nothing to help me nor permit me to appear in person and do it myself. Their side of the family remembers his father's name as Victor.

Aside from this, no records of his existence or verifying the names of his parents, appear anywhere.

Now, add to this madness, my aunt on his side just got her DNA done. Mostly Italian, to be expected, and roughly 25% West Asian. Now I expect for her to be 25% West Asian one of her grandparents would have to be pretty much entirely West Asian, or two would be half, but I know the ancestry of her other three grandparents quite far back in time, with good sources, who are Italian and English. Charles Guarino was ostensibly Italian, but then where would the West Asian genetics come from? Yet what I do have on him shows conclusively that he changed his surname at least once.

So, if I want to find out if he was actually from the Caucasus somewhere, how would I even begin to search?
closed with the note: I just got in contact with a grand-uncle who I didn't know was alive. Apparently Charles was an orphan. Checking orphanages now.
asked in Genealogy Help by Steven Amendola G2G1 (1.6k points)
closed by Steven Amendola
Steven, welcome to G2G forum.

Just in case you don't have the following FindAGrave record:

Best of luck.
I didn't! Saved to my virtual cemetery, thank you very much! The wife is correct, too. He was a merchant marine standing on the street in New York. He cat called her. It worked.

You're welcome Steven.

Another odd thing about names is this: Your g-grandmother was born Adelita Louise according to the following record from FamilySearch:

She is listed Adelita L in the 1910 Census (5 y/o):

It is in the 1920 Census she is listed Madeline (15 y/o):

Fascinating! I did have those names as middle names but I did not realize Madeline was a nickname. Wow. Thank you!
Hi, I am very familiar with WNY Italians, being one myself. I see from looking at the info you posted up a Front Street in Buffalo. I'll bet that Victor's real name may be Vincenzo and he was from within 50 mile radius of Valledolmo area of Siciy. I have a few Guarino's hanging out in branches of my tree and over 3,000 Valledolmo people landed in WNY between 1890 and 1900.
Fantastic, thank you. I will use those parameters to find a possible match.

Related questions

+1 vote
3 answers
+3 votes
4 answers
+8 votes
2 answers
96 views asked Oct 31, 2017 in Genealogy Help by Giuseppe D'Andrea G2G Crew (400 points)
+5 votes
2 answers
+3 votes
2 answers
0 votes
1 answer
82 views asked Aug 17, 2012 in Genealogy Help by anonymous
+2 votes
1 answer

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright